Alicante-Elche Airport To Control Tourist Fever With Thermographic Cameras

The devices will be operational from July to detect passengers and prevent queues from forming.

The Alicante-Elche airport will have thermographic cameras distributed mainly in the arrivals area from July 1st when it is expected that the flight schedule will start to be progressively recovered. The cameras will focus on the departure corridor and will detect if a passenger arrives with a fever. If detected they will automatically be separated from the arriving passengers for a temperature check. This will help speed up the movement of tourists through the terminal.

Aena, the manager of the network of airports of general interest, will provide the necessary human, health and support resources to Sanidad Exterior in order to guarantee the health control of the entry of passengers on international flights, an issue that will be specified through the corresponding collaboration agreement with Sanidad Exterior. So far, passengers are controlled one by one with thermometers, something that would block the terminal in the middle of the high season, although large crowds of passengers are not expected this year due to COVID-19

Since May 15th, all passengers coming from abroad have been subjected to a temperature control which, from July 1st, will be automated with thermographic cameras due to the increase in traffic at the airports.

In addition, the Passenger Location Card (PLC), the record for the location of the passenger that is now filled in on the plane and delivered by hand to the temperature control, will be digitized to also contribute to a more fluid transit through the airport. The airport manager, Aena, will collaborate with Sanidad Exterior in these health surveillance and control tasks by signing an agreement between both institutions, which establishes the terms of this collaboration.

Images from a thermal imaging scanner are pictured on a computer screen.

The competences of health and the use of the health data obtained in the exercise of these health control functions will be the exclusive property of the Ministry of Health, while Aena will provide the human and technological resources necessary for the installation and use of the thermographic cameras, as well as for the technological development of the PLC, from 1st of July.

Aena is implementing its Operational Recovery Plan, articulated in line with the recommendations of the European Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in collaboration with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). It is a package of safety initiatives and protocols, with the aim of restoring the safe operation of air transport in Europe. These measures are implemented by Aena in this Operational Recovery Plan and their formulation has been coordinated with the Member States and with the airport (ACI Europe) and airline (IATA) associations. In this sense, Aena has contributed to generating this European position within the framework of the ACI Europe “Off-the-Ground” project.

For this reason, and due to this work with ACI, it is not surprising that the measures contained in the EASA and ECDC Protocol are basically those already contemplated in the Operational Recovery Plan, on which Aena began to work in April, with the aim of defining safe airport processes (queue management, additional controls, cleaning and disinfection, worker protection, maximum capacity, and social distancing. Today, this plan is already in a state of implementation, to an advanced degree.


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